Heathers Restaurant in Basalt, Colorado
If you’re craving some good home-style cooking, I recommend Heather’s, located at 166 Midland Avenue in Basalt; a pretty little place, set back from the sidewalk with a shady patio garden in front.
This venue has enjoyed numerous incarnations over the years but it seems that Heather’s is here to stay, given its growing popularity. It refers to itself as a ‘Savory Pie and Tapas Bar’ and whereas they do serve some excellent pot pies, I wouldn’t consider it a tapas bar in the true Spanish tradition.
The entrance takes you through the three-sided bar area, which has a welcoming and convivial atmosphere and if like me you enjoy live music, grab one of the high top bar tables and eat in here. We were happily entertained, listening to cool and artsy renditions of various Beatle’s songs. The restaurant part is more suitable for larger groups and those who want a bit of quiet.
I visited Heather’s primarily to sample their chicken pot pie on a friend’s recommendation. However, I was quickly tempted by the colorful, grilled sweet potato-layered vegetarian lasagna, that’s served in a pool of homemade pomodoro sauce. It was absolutely delicious and the accompanying salad was very fresh.
Entrees are priced between $13-15 and for an extra $3; you can switch out the side salad for a kale salad, although I’m not really sure why as it wasn’t finely chopped and looked like it came from a packet.
For dessert we shared a slice of homemade carrot cake which was also very good, albeit a rather small portion at $8.
My second visit found me choosing to eat at a high top table once more; I was amused by the row of single men lined up at the bar, tucking into platefuls of food just like their Moms used to make (or perhaps just like they’d wished their Moms had made). Ladies were lined up on the opposite side and there was plenty of friendly banter flying back and forth.
Our server was also incredibly friendly; so friendly and chatty in fact, that I wondered if I was having an elderly moment and had forgotten that we knew each other; fortunately this wasn’t the case.
This time I ordered their lamb and eggplant pot pie; reminiscent of Greek moussaka but topped with potato rather than the traditional béchamel sauce. It was piping hot, tasty and filling.
Asides from the close proximity of live music (it’s a small space), another advantage of eating in the bar is that you can eyeball your choice of dessert while tucking into your entree. Set against the back wall is a chilled display containing assorted cakes, chocolate peanut balls (at $1.50 each) and pies with substantial looking crusts; all homemade.
As a confirmed chocoholic I opted for the chocolate sponge roulade. It was rather dry, probably due to our climate and having been made a few hours earlier. This might have been prevented had it been rolled around a more generous quantity of hazelnut cream filling – and the big drizzle of dark chocolate sauce overwhelmed any hint of hazelnut.
They serve some decent wines by the glass at around $8; considerably less than you’d pay for the same thing in Aspen.
My most recent visit was for lunch on a sunny day when the patio seemed inviting. My friend and I ordered salads topped with salmon and chicken, respectively. I’d forgotten that the kale salad was a bit unremarkable and the four thin pieces of chicken on top were a bit on the dry side. The salad dressing was very good and my companion’s salmon was apparently cooked to perfection. However, at a total cost of $18 (kale is extra, chicken is extra), I won’t be ordering that again.
To finish, we agreed to share a piece of rhubarb and strawberry pie – something I make myself and love. As it was carried to our table, the server announced… “It may not look great but it sure tastes good!” An understatement, the smallish slice of tart looked as if it had been dropped from a height of ten feet. No cream or ice cream was offered and I would have liked more fruit, less pastry. Perhaps there had been more fruit before its ‘accident’.
Notwithstanding broken pies, I give Heather’s a good thumbs-up, especially for anyone suffering from homesickness. It’s comforting to find an eatery that makes their main dishes and desserts from scratch and as I’ve yet to try their famous chicken pot pie, I’ll definitely be back.
And I’m also hoping that by then they’ll have added a really good seafood pie to the menu.
(Jackie Mansfield is our restaurant critic and the creator of www.Edibletcetera.com – ‘Not just another blog – for Foodies everywhere!’)